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The MOBI Yacht Nirimba

Vessel Number: HV000456
Date: 1966
Designer: Alan Payne
Vessel Dimensions: 12.8 m x 8.26 m x 3.31 m x 1.71 m, 10.67 tonnes (42 ft x 27.1 ft x 10.85 ft x 5.6 ft, 10.5 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
The MOBI Yacht NIRIMBA is a steel ocean racing yacht completed in 1966. It was built by Royal Australian Navy apprentices at their training establishment in Sydney. In 2011 it remains as the only operational example of a steel vessel built entirely by RAN personnel. It was built to a design by well known Australian naval architect Alan Payne, modified with his approval by an RAN draughtsman. It was used as a sail training vessel by the RAN and sailed in a number of Sydney to Hobart yacht races. It remains in its original configuration as a sloop, and is operated as a memorial tribute to the RAN apprentices.
DescriptionThe MOBI Yacht NIRIMBA was built at the Royal Australian Navy Apprentice Training Establishment (RANATE) HMAS NIRIMBA, in Quakers Hill NSW. The design was from Alan Payne, well known by the early 1960s as Australia’s premier yacht designer for the period. The yacht was based on the plans he had drawn of 12.80 m long a steel, multi-chined hull, developed from the lines of the smaller and very famous Tasman Seabird class of wooden yachts. The original yacht was SYLPH VI, designed for the Lawson Brothers. The MOBI Yacht NIRIMBA 's lines were modified from the chine shape to a round bilge shape by RANATE trainer Barry Ward, with Payne's approval.

The young builders at RANATE were Naval Artificer Apprentices. Construction began in 1962. The apprentices worked under the supervision of RAN senior tradesmen and civilian trade instructors. HMAS NIRIMBA was the primary school for apprentice training and closed in 1994. Over 16,000 apprentices have passed through HMAS NIRIMBA, and this vessel is the only major object left from the many training projects undertaken by apprentices at the establishment bearing the name Nirimba.

Whilst under construction, it was always assumed that the yacht (known to the apprentice builders as 'The MOBI',) would be launched as 'MOBI'. The acronym 'MOBI' stands for 'Most Objectionable Bastards Imaginable' and was the irreverent nickname given to (and borne proudly by) all of the early Naval Artificer Apprentices (i.e., Naval Shipwright Apprentices, Engine Room Artificer Apprentices, Electrical Artificer Apprentices, Ordnance (Gunnery) Artificer Apprentices and Aircraft Artificer Apprentices,) by the rest of the fleet.

However, 1960s political correctness prevailed when it was realised that eventually someone in the public would ask what 'MOBI' actually stood for, so it was named NIRIMBA at its launch on 5 November 1966. It remained with the RAN until the late 1980s, and was used for sail training and often based at Garden Island in Sydney or down at HMAS CRESWELL at Jervis Bay, or at its present mooring at the RAN Sailing Association at Rushcutters Bay, Sydney. Amongst the ocean races it took part in were seven Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races in the 1960s and 70s.

It was sold into private ownership in 1987. Dirk Hunter bought the vessel in 2000 and gave it a major overhaul. In 2005 it was sold by Hunter to an association of former RANATE apprentices, who renamed it, THE MOBI YACHT NIRIMBA.

The MOBI Yacht NIRIMBA Association Inc. now maintains the yacht in sailing condition as an operational memorial to the apprentices from HMAS NIRIMBA. As a further tribute they have been regularly granted the Chief of Navy's permission to fly the RAN's Australian White Ensign on special occasions such the Australia Day parade of vessels the yacht has been involved in.
Vessel Details
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:steel/iron
Current status:operational
Deck layout:cabin
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck material and construction:steel/iron
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:steel
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:overhanging stem
Hull shape:overhanging transom
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:auxiliary motor
Motor propulsion:diesel
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Additional Titles

Primary title: The MOBI Yacht Nirimba

Previous title: Nirimba

Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: MOBI YN

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